Nota Bene: For the next five days, this blog will function primarily as a Remote Parental Communication Device. Do not expect reflective content. School behavior, potty-related issues, bathing schedules, and bedtime crying jags will be faithfully recorded for the benefit of the Temporarily Canadian Spouse. All other visitors should plan to read this instead, for the duration.
Concerned readers will be happy to know that I still have my health, although I'm not positive I could say the same for Cady Gray. Kerry (bless her) opined in the comments to my last rather hysterical update that my sweetie might have a urinary tract infection, and the longer I spend thinking about it (and tossing wet underpants into an ever-growing laundry pile), the more I think she's right. CG clearly can't stop herself, she just basically leaks all day, and there's a whole lot more urine that she'd normally produce -- everything's just soaked, all the time. That's not a willpower problem. So I'm tentatively planning to take her to the doctor tomorrow afternoon, after her school and my school both let out.
After coming to that conclusion and resolving therefore to treat her like a sick little girl rather than a bad little girl (a change of perspective that makes all the difference in my frustration level), I awoke refreshed and played happily with the kids all morning. We broke out the Connect Four game that Archer had gotten for his birthday and the kids spent a happy hour taking turns dropping the checkers in the slot. Getting the hang of how to get a diagonal four-in-a-row, Archer began suggesting that Cady Gray make a "stool" for him -- which I finally figured out meant drop one where he could stack his on top. Given our family focus on bathroom issues of late, that wasn't really my first thought, I admit.
Before church today, I reminded Archer that Father Jack was the teacher, and so he needed to listen to Father Jack during the children's sermon just like he does to his teacher. "Maybe he'll ask a question," I bribed, "and you can raise your hand and answer it, if you're listening." (Archer loves to know the right answer.) Imagine my delight when halfway through the children's sermon, Father Jack asked, "Now who can tell me what friends do?" From where I was sitting, I couldn't see down into the assembly of kids sitting on the floor in the center aisle, but my fondest hopes were realized when the priest turned to his left and said, "Archer?" My boy said, haltingly but clearly, "A friend ... joins you at recess." From my questioning of Archer in other contexts, I knew he was talking about Savannah, who draws Archer into her games during recess at school. Actually, Archer says that Savannah gives him "hard lessons," which sounds rather ominous, but apparently just means that she poses math problems to him. I asked him for an example of these hard lessons, and he said, "12+12."
My mother-in-law arrived about 3 pm, and the kids immediately set upon her. Reading, playing games, eating dinner, taking a walk -- everybody wanted Grandma Libby's attention. A nice break for me, but maybe not what she was hoping for. I took the opportunity to take the kids to Playworld -- it doesn't work well with one person because the kids play in two different areas. Aside from the inevitable potty problems, that went well. As usual, the kids enjoyed playing a few arcade games, ending as always with the "play till you win" candy crane. Cady Gray got a little plastic fish on the first try, but Archer had to drop the grabber six times before he came up with a SweeTart and a Spree packet (at least he got two for one). Normally you'd think that more play = more fun, but I was actually afraid after several futile efforts that he'd start getting upset. I suppose the one thing "play till you win" can't guarantee you is that you'll ever win. Sounds like a Twilight Zone premise.
Barbecue sandwiches and salad for dinner, bathtime for Cady Gray, and everybody's in bed just like normal. I have to read my mini-lecture over a few more times (a lot of it was written off the top of my head, and I need to make sure it's sound), and then read student work before going to bed. But my backup has arrived, I'm feeling fine, and we're re-entering the school week. I will not tempt fate by saying the worst is over, but I will say that confidence is high.